This post is more for me than it is for you. Because sometimes, we need to give ourselves permission to let certain things go in order for other things to happen.
You see, there was a schedule at first, I promise; one that I was pretty gung-ho about. A graphic designer friend was in the process of giving the site a new look. Another graphic designer I know and love was doing me up a logo. I came up with regular features that would interest me, and for the first week, I was all over it.
Then life happened, and whenever life happens, it forces you to think about what your priorities actually are.
This blog is fun. I love that I have a place where I can spout off my opinions on just about anything without requiring anyone else’s approval. I love that this blog serves as a place where I can keep anyone who cares updated about what’s going on with me, particularly with regard to my writing career. Mostly, I love that this blog allows me to work my writing muscles. Like anything else, writing is something that takes practice and dedication, and as a writer, it’s important for me to try to write something every day. I definitely feel the days I don’t, much like I feel how out of shape I’ve become since slacking off on Couch to 5K and hiking lately. So, I would never give up the blog.
However, I’m still figuring out the purpose it serves. You see, I’ve pared down on all of my non-fiction writing for a reason: because it requires more energy than should be put into something I don’t really want to do. I have friends who are amazing, dedicated journalists; who love chasing the story and covering certain areas and beats. I’ve always envied their discipline when it comes to figuring out new story ideas and the research that goes into what they do. I’ve spent a good number of years doing that – mostly because that’s one of the most sure-fire way to make a living as a writer – and for a while, I enjoyed thinking up new angles from which to write about pop culture. I still do, sometimes. But I am not a journalist, nor was it ever my intention to be one. The Teresa Jusino Experience was always supposed to be simply a place where I can show you a glimpse into my life, and the more I try to make this like Other Blogs (ie: trying to make it a source for consistent pop culture commentary, or covering events, or reviews, etc), the more pressure is put on it, the less fun it becomes, and the less I want to do it.
Meanwhile, it’s difficult to focus on writing, period, when your job/financial situation is topsy-turvy, which mine happens to be at the moment. I don’t make enough to have only one part-time job, but I feel that if I’m going to have a full-time job, it should be something in my field of interest. Otherwise, again, I’d be expending more energy than should be put into a job I don’t really care about and moving laterally rather than up. But the stresses of being a freelancer also sap your writing energy. Somehow, in my two years in L.A, I’ve managed to write a webseries, many paid non-fiction posts, and be published in three anthologies, but it’s been difficult.
Then again, my writer friends who write while having a full-time job not in their field manage that despite the difficulty. It depends on your temperament, I guess. It’s like, pick a hardship: either you’re freaking out about money and it’s hard to write. Or you’re stressed and tired from a non-creative full-time job and it’s hard to write.
I guess this is all to say that Writing is Hard, You Guys. If writing is what you want to do, and you’re good at it, pride yourself on it, and it’s how you want to make your living, it’s not an easy thing to stick in between other stuff. What’s even more difficult for me is finding the time and energy specifically to do the fiction writing I want to do, especially when, for so long, I’ve done non-fiction stuff that people actually seem to enjoy reading. If I want to “keep my name out there” or “build an audience” or even just get regular writing practice that provides immediate feedback, it seems like The Thing To Do.
But ultimately, I guess all of THIS is to say that if this blog is supposed to be fun, allowing it to become something that’s not-fun, distracts me from the writing I really want to be doing, and adds to the pressure of my job/money/life situation is not a good idea. It was never my intention to become a pro-blogger. And while monetizing this blog or turning it into A Thing might be nice, it’s not actually what I want. What I want is to make stories up for a living. What I want is to be able to write for television, for comics, to write prose fiction. I’m good at those things, and it’s time to let people see that.
This is not to say that I’m stopping this blog. Not at all. But I AM saying that I’ll be writing pretty much when I feel like it and what I feel like. No regularly scheduled features (except for the Song of the Day, because that’s easy enough, and it’s a nice way for me to start the day as well as keep me a bit disciplined even if I have nothing else to say for the rest of the day), no trying to make this blog An Outlet. It’s my personal blog, and if I want to review something, or write about an event, or tell you about something that happened, it’s because I genuinely want to and have something to say about it that cannot be contained. I’ll continue to tag/title certain features (like “Teresaopinion” or “Three-Word Fiction”/”Friday Night Fiction”) that I enjoy, but I’ll be putting them up whenever. This is The Teresa Jusino Experience, which means it’s what I want to write when I want to write it.
Me saying this probably seems redundant, and most of you probably didn’t have any more expectations of this blog than that. But like I said, this post is more for me than for you. And so, now I get to breathe, knowing that I don’t owe anyone anything with this blog. This space is mine to use how and when I like.